story and photos by Jennifer Morrisey
I absolutely love celebrating this cozier season in every way possible and want to bring all of winter’s simple pleasures into my home. One of my favorite ways to embrace holiday vibes is by infusing the spicy aromas of the season in my house. Homey scents instantly get me in the mindset of all things winter.
I like to use a simple simmer pot to make my home smell deliciously like winter. It’s cheap, simple and a good way to use kitchen scraps and last year’s spices.
What is a simmer pot?
Simmer pots are an easy and natural way to make your house smell amazing with the cozy scents of baking, and humidify dry air in your home. Think of it as a liquid potpourri pot, bubbling away on your stove all day. If you have a wood stove, you can simply place your simmer pot on top and let the warmth from the fire release the aroma.
While any pot can be used as a simmer pot, I picked up a vintage red and white enamelware saucepan at my local thrift shop to use as my simmer pot. I like the clean vintage look. Also, I occasionally simmer pine needles and twigs, and didn’t want to have to deal with any pine sap residue in my cooking pans.
How to simmer spices on the stove top
Putting together a simmer pot is seriously so easy! In fact, you don’t even really need a recipe. Mix and match simmer pot ingredients based on your preferences or what you have in your pantry. It’s ok to leave ingredients out or go heavy-handed with the scents you love.
To scent your house with a simmer pot, simply combine the ingredients, along with four cups of water, in a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and allow to simmer. Your kitchen (and the rest of your home) will start to smell warm and inviting.
Really, the only thing you are going to want to pay close attention to is the water level in the pot. Don’t let the water run dry – add additional water as needed.
Five Simmer Pot Recipes
Rosemary Lemon Simmer Pot
Simmer some rosemary, lemon, cinnamon and vanilla on a snowy day and curl up with a good book for a relaxing self-care day.
4 rosemary leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Apple Pie Spice Simmer Pot
Nothing says cozy more than the sweet scent of a warm apple pie.
1 small apple, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. whole cloves
3-4 cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp. nutmeg
Pumpkin Spice Simmer Pot
Everyone’s favorite spice blend of clove, nutmeg and cinnamon is sure to have people asking “What are you baking?”
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 tbsp pumpkin spice or ground cinnamon
1/2 of a nutmeg, finely ground
1 tsp whole cloves
Pine and Bay Leaf Simmer Pot
Fill your house with the clean fresh fragrance of pine, bay leaves and lemon!
3 small pine twigs
5 bay leaves
Cozy Kitchen Spices
You don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen baking to give your home the warm inviting scent of baked goods. Simmer cinnamon, anise and cloves for a country farmhouse kitchen scent that is sure to be a favorite.
4 cinnamon sticks
5 anise stars
1 tbsp cloves
Apple peel or apple slices (optional)
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